This report profiles ten programs—which we refer to as “Bright Spots”—that demonstrate how local communities are working to increase educational attainment in North Carolina. Their efforts reflect the fact that, across our state, there is a growing recognition that a high school education and a willingness to work hard are no longer sufficient to secure a job with wages that will adequately support a family. Our economy is locked in a global competition for jobs that, increasingly, require training beyond high school. The implication is clear: Unless our plan is to import talent, on top of working to foster home-grown talent, both today and into the future, North Carolina must produce more people with postsecondary educational credentials.

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